Santa Cruz Island

S anta Cruz Island lies approximately 30 miles offshore from Santa Barbara. It rises vertically out of the ocean and has very few beaches or anchorages. All the islands are managed by the Channel Islands National Park. Santa Cruz Island is about 6 miles wide x 22 miles long with an area of just under 100 square miles. Many flora and fauna are exclusive to the island and have endangered or protected status. The Island also supports the most concentrated numbers of lichen species in California - over 400 species on one island! Access is available through the Island Packers out of Ventura, California. I travel there to go hiking, swimming, and of course to take pictures. I think early June is the best time, but anytime is a treat.
Approaching Santa Cruz Island from the East
Sea Caves ~ East Santa Cruz Island
The Inviting Waters Near Scorpian Anchorage ~ Santa Cruz Island
Information Kiosk at Scorpian Ranch ~ Santa Cruz Island
Deserted Equipment at Scorpian Ranch
Old Forge Building at Scorpian Ranch
Thistles at Trail-Head Up To Cavern Point
Cavern Point, Elevation 292 Feet
West from Cavern Point ~ Santa Cruz Island
Cavern Point Cliff ~ Santa Cruz Island
Large Kelp Bed of Macrocystis pyrifera ~ Below Cavern Point
East Along the Cliff from Cavern Point ~ Anacapa Island is in the Distance
USGS Marker in Foreground
Sea Caverns ~ Santa Cruz Island
Kayakers Exploring Sea Caves ~ Santa Cruz Island
Scorpian & Little Scorpian Anchorage ~ Anacapa Island is in the Distance
Typical Island Trail With No Shade ~ Santa Cruz Island
Anacapa Island is in the Distance ~ Taken from Santa Cruz Island
Anacapa is from the Native Chumash Name for the Island, "Anyapah" which means 'Mirage'
Secluded Beach ~ Santa Cruz Island
View Along Trail To Potato Harbor ~ Santa Cruz Island
Scorpian Anchorage ~ Santa Cruz Island
Rocky Beach at Scorpian Anchorage ~ A Great Swimming Area
Beach Stones Reveal A Tortured Geologic History
The Clear Waters of Scorpian Anchorage ~ Santa Cruz Island
The 'Islander', out of Ventura ~ Awaiting passengers for the Trip Back to the Mainland
Island Animals
Santa Cruz Island Fox, Urocyon littoralis
Santa Cruz Island Fox Cub, Urocyon littoralis
Fox Cub Resting in the Morning Sun, Urocyon littoralis
Fox Cub Hiding in the Brush, Urocyon littoralis
The 'Side-Blotched" Lizard, Uta stansburiana
Note the Variety of Lichens ~ Santa Cruz Island has over 400 species!
A Lone Raven, Corvus corax
A Raven Couple, Corvus corax
A Lone Pelican Rides the Island's Thermals
Island Flowers
Munchkin Dudleya Flowers, Dudleya gnoma
Munchkin Dudleya, Dudleya gnoma
Similar to "Santa Cruz Island Live-forever"
Munchkin Dudleya Plant, Dudleya gnoma
Island Morning Glory, Calystegia macrostegia
Seaside Daisy, Erigeron glaucus, in Volcanic Rock Area
A Sage Plant with Red Ant ~ Santa Cruz Island
Black Mustard Plant, Brassica nigra (A Beautiful but Invasive Species)
Milk Thistle, Silybum marianum
Dandelion Seed Head, Taraxacum officinale
Jimsonweed (aka Locoweed, Moon Flower), Datura stramonium ~ Extremely Toxic
Lichens Along Trail ~ Santa Cruz Island Has Over 400 Species!
Yellow (Acarospora schleicheri), Grey (Dimelaena radiata), Brown, Black, & Red Lichens
~ Santa Cruz Island ~
Blue Whale Sighting
A Blue Whale, Balaenoptera musculus ~ Near Santa Cruz Island

A Blue Whale Sounding